Mac mini rumors: Features, price, and more!

The Mac mini hasn't been updated since October 2014, when it was made even more appliance-like than previous generations. Since then Apple's bring-your-own-mouse-keyboard-and-monitor Mac has been missing in action. Here's what we know.

August 20, 2018: Mac mini update once again rumored for this fall

The Mac mini, infamously, hasn't been updated for years. Apple's still been working on it but, for a variety of reasons, could or would never push revisions out the door. Now, it's once again being rumored the company is about to fix that.

Mark Gurman, writing for Bloomberg:

Apple is also planning the first upgrade to the Mac mini in about four years. It's a Mac desktop that doesn't include a screen, keyboard, or mouse in the box and costs $500. The computer has been favored because of its lower price, and it's popular with app developers, those running home media centers, and server farm managers. For this year's model, Apple is focusing primarily on these pro users, and new storage and processor options are likely to make it more expensive than previous versions, the people said.

Will it be at the September iPhone and iPad event, or a Mac-specific event in October? Apple has both split them up to maximize focus, and gone all in in the past. Two events are twice the coverage but double the work, after all.

We'll have to wait and see.

July 11, 2018: Apple planning Mac mini refresh for the fall

Kuo Ming-Chi has issued another of his infamous, supply-chain exfiltrated, research notes to clients. This one, splendidly, included mention of the Mac mini. It remains a product Apple is actively working on, but one the company has somehow failed to push out updated for in the last several years.

From MacRumors:

Kuo didn't have a lot of information to share on the Mac mini, but he says a processor upgrade is expected. The Mac mini has not been updated for more than 1,300 days, aka over 3 and a half years. It's not clear if additional upgrades will be included, such as a redesigned chassis, but at least some kind of refresh is on the horizon.

Hopefully, it'll actually hit the shelves this year.

October 19, 2017: Tim Cook says Mac mini remains an important part of Apple's product lineup

Apple's CEO, Tim Cook,

As reported by MacRumors:

While it's not time to share any details, we do plan for Mac mini to be an important part of our product line going forward.

My guess remains that we'll hear and even see more about the next Mac mini in 2018. My distress remains Apple not updating the current design with modern chipsets and ports in the meantime.

April 6, 2017: Phil Schiller says Mac mini remains an important part of Apple's lineup

As part of an exclusive briefing held at Apple's campus in Cupertino, senior vice president Phil Schiller commented — sorta — on the future of Mac mini.

From Tech Crunch:

I'll say the Mac Mini is an important product in our lineup and we weren't bringing it up because it's more of a mix of consumer with some pro use. So we're focusing today specifically on the things that are important to pros. While there are some pro usage, there's also a lot of consumer uses so we aren't covering it today. The Mac Mini remains a product in our lineup, but nothing more to say about it today.

April 5, 2017: Next Mac mini might not be so mini

Many people have hoped that Apple would replace the existing Mac mini with more of a Mac mini tower, complete with expansion ports. That doesn't seem to be the direction Apple's going, but there is potential for more powerful Macs mini going forward.

Pike's Universum:

It won't be so mini anymore. Well. The top model that is.

Is the Mac mini dead?

Not until Apple officially pulls the plug.

When will we see a new Mac mini?

Best guess — 2018. That's when Apple has teased the new (modular) Mac Pro will make an appearance, at least. It's possible Mac mini will get pushed out to 2019, but the sooner the better. For everyone.

What do you want to see in a new Mac mini?

Mac mini is supposed to be the entry-level Mac desktop, but as MacBooks become the mainstream choice, there's room to do something... geekier. Appliance computing is all well and good but there's also something to be said for a computer than can grow with you.

Mac mini could be both. An easy to use starter system that can have new and better memory, drives, and perhaps even graphics that can expand over time, if and when you need them. Here's what we'd like to see:

  • USB C / Thunderbolt 3 ports.
  • Legacy USB-A, Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, and SD card ports.
  • Kaby Lake processors.
  • Quad-core processor option.
  • Graphics cards capable of supporting harder-core gaming and VR.
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar and Touch ID.
  • Space gray or matte black options.
  • Gold and rose gold options. (What?!)
  • Make it a mini tower — expandability, yo!

How about you?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.